The University of Cincinnati hosted the football team’s Pro Day at Nippert Stadium: 16 former Bearcats performed drills for NFL scouts and coaches.
Defensive end Connor Barwin, posted 40 yard-dash times clocked at 4.48 and 4.52 seconds in his two sprints, tied for the fastest time with Brandon Underwood among all participants. Guard, Trevor Canfield, lifted the most bench-presses at 225 lbs. with 32 reps. Linebacker, Corey Smith, ran the fastest time in the cone-drill, finishing at 6.62 seconds.
The event was attended by some noticeable faces like Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis, and first-year New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan. Former Bengal players, – defensive back Artrell Hawkins and linebacker Caleb Miller – were also present. At least 18 NFL teams were represented at UC’s Pro Day.
NFL prospects know the importance of working out in front of pro scouts. With Pro Day being the last chance to impress teams, players typically give their maximum effort.
“Coming up to this day, its like waking up for Christmas. So I just went out there and tried to do the best I can,” said defensive back DeAngelo Smith.
Smith has been working with Artell Hawkins as well as Hall-of-Fame defensive back Darrell Green, on DeAngelo’s position drills.
“You just focus on the drills fundamentally, and then everything else will come with it.” Smith said.
“I have seen improvement,” Hawkins said of Smith. “I think his feet are really good. I think he’s a pure football player. While he tests well, I think he’ll be better when he gets on a team and can show what he can do on a football field.”
Smith ran the 40 yard-dash with times of 4.59 and 4.60 in his two sprints at Pro Day.
It was also an important day for fellow defensive back, Mike Mickens. The second-team All-American wasn’t able to compete in the Combine due to an injured knee, but decided to participate at Pro Day, even without feeling 100 percent.
“[The knee] is about 85 percent right now,” said Mickens. “My swelling is down now. I just got to get my quad stronger and and get my wind back up.”
“Its important to show [scouts] that I’m not trying to skip out on everything since I didn’t go in the Senior Bowl or at the Combine. Show them that I am progressing, I am getting healthy and that I’m gaining more weight,” Mickens said.
Mickens feels that he’s now at the ideal weight at around 190 lbs. to be the cover corner that he’s built his reputation on.
His Pro Day results supplied Mickens with even more confidence.
“I’ll be 100 percent by mini-camp. That’s what I need to communicate to the teams, “ Mickens said. “ I’m 85 percent and I’m still putting up average numbers for everybody at the combine, so if I’m 100 percent, I’m only going to be better and show that I am the best corner in the nation.”
The NFL Draft is April 25-26 in New York City.